1 John 2:2 “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
Recently my pastor, Joe Thorn, preached on the above verse. What he said resonated with my soul, encouraging and affirming the direction in which the Lord is directing our steps as we begin the planning stages of a church plant in Libertyville.
Church planting is a demanding task, one that causes men to forsake many of the things of this world: desires, comforts, interests. This is something that the entire Cochran family has slowly learned over the past couple years. For Kendall and I, it was definitive when we looked around in our empty Tulsa home in 2013 and realized that we were letting go of much for the sake of making much of Christ in Chicagoland. For the children, it was smaller things. Chloe saying goodbye to her friend Cammie. Asher feeling the pain of his Black and Decker tool work station not surviving the move, damaged in our POD. For Adalie, it involves nap times cut short from noisy siblings who share one bedroom with her.
Still, we all look at these things as having a specific purpose. They are but trifle sacrifices for what we see the Lord stirring in our own hearts and others. How is the Lord stirring within you to forsake the world and things in the world for his good and glory?
We will be relocating to the Libertyville area in mid-June. This Wednesday we are looking at a rental property that is currently being rented by a PhD graduate who studied under Doug Sweeney, my doctoral advisor, at TEDS. This graduate started working at Crossway as an editor this last fall, and he and his family are relocating to Wheaton in May. The Lord providentially brought the two of us together when I met with Dane Ortlund in Crossway’s offices, who thought it might be opportune for us to connect, since we both love editing and church history, sharing the same doctoral advisor. It’s very exciting to see how God is working!
Relocation is always bittersweet. We’ll miss our friends at Redeemer Fellowship, Starbucks, Chickfila, our apartment complex, and in the community we live. As we’ve shared what the Lord is doing, many have indicated a desire to come up and visit the church plant, which is always encouraging. We’ve had so many gospel conversations as a result of these friendships, and we know that the Lord is planting seeds for his glory in all these conversations.
Pray that the Lord would continue to train and equip our family for gospel ministry as we make the next steps to planting in Libertyville.
Two weeks ago I met with the elders of Embassy Church in Arlington Heights and shared the seedling vision and first draft of a prospectus for the Libertyville church plant. This presentation was met with an encouraging response. Since then, our family has had dinner in the home of one of Embassy Church’s elders and another attended the first information meeting we had for the Libertyville church plant. Even now I am praying for continued favor.
This past Friday evening I held my first information meeting for the Libertyville church plant. There was a handful of men gathered to read Scripture, pray, and listen. During that time I shared our story and calling to Libertyville, a draft of the proposed vision of this church plant, and my timeline. There was hearty discussion as we all enjoyed dessert together. I’m very thankful for the Farish family, who opened their home to our family for dinner and generously hosted the information meeting.
Then on this past Sunday, the Sunday following the information meeting, I had the opportunity to preach for my friend, Steve McCoy, at the church he leads, Doxa Fellowship. I preached about the eternal God from Psalm 90. It was a sweet time of fellowship as it always is with this church family. God has blessed me with the opportunity to preach for them five times now since we moved up here.
On Monday April 20th, I will attend a banquet for NAMB missionaries where there will be a number of churches from outside the Chicago area that are looking to partner with new church plants. I’m looking forward to this time where I will have the opportunity to share with others about what the Lord is stirring in our hearts. Please pray that the Lord will give us favor and we will connect with other churches that wish to partner in this new work.
Hopefully, during the next two months we confirm having a sending church and go through a favorable assessment with the North American Mission Board. Then we can really accelerate the church planting work the Lord is leading us too and put our hand to the plow without looking back.
Praise God for his provision of MORE part-time employment.
Kendall and I have already arranged to transfer our part-time work to the Libertyville area for when we move there in June. I’m also looking for freelance marketing, content strategy, social media, and editorial work to replace my hours at Starbucks. The Lord has already shown his favor here; I’m delighted to share that I am now a freelance proof editor for Crossway. We hope that the Lord will open up a way for more of this kind of work as we continue to have information meetings and prepare for assessment with the North American Mission Board. Once assessment is complete and we have a confirmed sending church, I will be able to focus most of my attention towards the church plant.
We’re really thankful that the Lord has provided these means to provide for our family. Nonetheless, our sincere desire is to focus more towards church planting. We’ve found that this is difficult to do when we are working as much as we are. It leaves little time left for us to focus on people, prayer, and planning for this church plant.
Pray that the Lord will provide partners with both churches and individuals, so we may continue forward with Church Planting. Please share with others about this work too! We’d love to have more people praying for us!
Our ernest desire is to focus on church planting. If the Lord is stirring you to partner with us and unleash us for church planting work, you may do so through the North American Mission Board.
All funding may be securely given through the North American Mission Board. Gifts may be given through Electronic Funds Transfer, or AutoPay with your Debit or Credit Card. To set up automatic giving on-line go to our NAMB Webpage, http://msc.kintera.org/cochranfamily2005.
If you wish to mail in an Electronic Funds Transfer request, you may do so. Fill out the form below and mail it to the address for NAMB below. When you fill out the form indicate my name JOEY COCHRAN and Account 10138 on the form.
EFT Request Form.
Here is a helpful document about giving online with the North American Mission Board.
Q&A Sheet for Partnering with NAMB Missionaries.
If you wish to send a monthly check, you may still do so. Please be sure to memo JOEY COCHRAN ACCT 10138 on your check.
Mail your check to:
Attention: Accounting – MSC
PO Box 116543
Atlanta, Georgia 30368-6543
The Cochran Family